After bombers, Russian S-400s for Iranian base
Russian giant Antonov An-124 air freighters are ready to take off Wednesday, Aug. 17, carrying an array of advanced S-400 and S-300 air defense missiles bound for the new Russian air base just completed at Nojeh, 50 km from the western Iranian town of Hamedan (Biblical Shushan).
This is reported exclusively by DEBKA file from its military and intelligence sources.
Moscow is getting set to explain to concerned Americans and Israelis that the sophisticated missile systems will not be put in Iranian hands but serve exclusively for defending he new Russian air base just established in Noji to house heavy bombers for air strikes against Islamist terrorists in Syria.
This is the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution that Iran has allowed a foreign military to set up a base on its soil.
Widely reported by the Western media Tuesday were the first sorties of Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers and Su-34 tactical bombers from the new Iranian air base for what the Russian Defense Ministry designated “concentrated airstrikes” against Islamic State and Islamist Nusra Front ammunition depots and command-and-control centers in the provinces of Aleppo, Deir Ez-Zour and Idlib.
Less play was made by the media of the failure of Western intelligence to detect the new Russian air base that was under construction to complement their Khmeimim facility in western Syria. Our exclusive sources add that Moscow plans to fly over Spetznaz Forces to defend the new base.
Construction work on the Nojeh air base began in the second week of July. Joint Russian-Iranian engineering teams extended the existing landing strips to accommodate the heavy Tupolev 22M3 bombers and Sukhoi-34 escort fighters. They also set up maintenance workshops and living quarters for the Russian air and ground crews.
debkafile also reveals that the military and aviation accord reached between Moscow and Tehran covers the following clauses:
- Free rein for Russian jets in all parts of Iranian air space
- License for Russia to operate long-range UAV’s from Noji air base.
- Permission to launch Russian cruise missiles through Iranian air space.
Given the tightening strategic cooperation between Russia and Tehran, one last step remains for Vladimir Putin to take as the final touch to the Russian-Turkish-Iranian alliance – and that is a visit by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to Tehran for concluding a military pact between Turkey and Iran.